The Iron Thorn off the library shelf because the dark, creepy cover called to me. Plus it mentioned Lovecraft in the blurb so I knew I had to try it. And I did get a dark and creepy tale.
Aoife is an orphan. Her mother and brother are locked up in a madhouse. She's never met her father. She's trying to survive til her sixteenth birthday when she might go mad too. Aoife's was able to go to a good school and learn engineering, rare for girls in her world. At school, she meets Cal. Cal had befriended her brother before he went mad and has stuck with Aoife ever since. Aoife's story is like a onion, a lot of layers. There's the madness she's fighting. There's the mystery of her brother and her father. There's the strange things her mother says. I kind of felt like Alice falling down a rabbit hole at times. Nothing is straight forward in this book. The rug will be pulled out from under you numerous times. But Kitteredge built such a lovely strange world I didn't mind getting lost in it. Especially after we meet Dean. Sigh. Dean's awesome. He's quick, smart, and handsome. He's able to help Aoife find her way in this mess.
I greatly enjoyed the story and would recommend it to those who enjoy dark tales. I'm interested in where Kitteredge takes us in the second book. I would definitely classify this as steampunk. There's plenty of references to great machines and flying airships. Even Aoife possesses an affinity to machines and loves to tinker with them. Others who shared their thoughts on The Iron Thorn: Read. Breathe. Relax, Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile, Carina's Books, and Turn The Page.